KNOWINGLY MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO OBTAIN A CONTRACT-VOID AB INITIO REDUX

In an earlier column, “Void Ab Initio” (May 3, 2016), this blog explained the basic principle that a contract that is tainted by fraud or wrongdoing is void ab initio, i.e, void from the very beginning. If a contractor knowingly makes a material false statement which the agency relies upon, the contract will be deemed void by the Boards or the courts. Another good example of this principle is in Bryan Concrete & Excavation, Inc., CBCA 2882, August 26, 2012. In Bryan, the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a contract to upgrade a chiller at a VA medical facility. The contract was set aside 100 percent for eligible Service Disabled Veterans Owned Small Businesses (“SDVOSB”). (Eligible SDVOSBs must have not less than 51 percent of … Continue reading

FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE A MATERIAL AMENDMENT-WHAT IS MATERIAL, AND HOW DO I MAKE NO MISTAKES?

For as long as this writer can remember, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has hewed to a hard and fast rule about amendments to solicitations: an offeror’s failure to acknowledge a material amendment makes the proposal (or bid) unacceptable and the proposal or bid may not form the basis for award. This same rule was applied in TTCC, Inc., B-412874, May 17, 2016. On the other hand, if a non-material amendment is not acknowledged, the agency may waive this minor informality in accordance with FAR 14.405. TTCC also states the GAO long held position that “[w]hile no precise rule exists as to whether a change required by an amendment is more than negligible, such that failure to acknowledge the amendment renders the proposal unacceptable, an … Continue reading